“The two goals of reading your bible are finding Jesus and finding yourself. In that order.”
Imagine how ridiculous the first person to realize Jesus was missing must have felt. Silently they must have thought to themselves, “You know, I haven’t seen Jesus in a while.” Then the moment most people dread, being the first person to pull the fire alarm. Imagine the other chump that thought about it and just assumed, “He surely has to be around here somewhere, right”.
“Well, has anybody seen Jesus?”
I feel sort of like the caravan of pilgrims making our way home only to realize we’ve forgotten Jesus. We’ve no shortage of bible “scholars” telling us what this and that verse means. Thousands of books, speakers, sermons, resources, churches, leaders, and regular people just like you and I regularly engage with the bible. In all of this, have we gone back to the temple and forgotten what we came back for? Oh yea, to find Jesus.
“Jesus said, the bible is all about Him.”
But we typically preach, counsel, encourage, argue, and lead as if Jesus actually said, “This is all about us”. When you read the bible, are you looking for Jesus or a band-aid to your emotional stability? Once you find Him, you’ll typically learn a lot about yourself, but you aren’t looking for you. I think Jesus said it best:
John 5:46: “If you believed Moses, you would have believed me, for he wrote about me.”
Luke 24:27, 44-47: “Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, Christ explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself.”
Paul got it:
Col. 2:16-17: “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Herein lies the wrong way in looking at the bible. When we see verses like Col. 2:16-17, we say, “See, I can drink and eat whatever I want”. That verse, as do all of them, bares the weighty identity of Christ not you and I. Paul means for us to realize that all these foodie issues for Israel were to point to Christ, and once Christ has come, they are fulfilled in their meaning. In a sense they have no more meaning. That’s why people were not to judge according to this old dietary issues. They existed to point to Christ. Now Christ exists, so no more need for the road signs when you’ve reached your destination. Coming to the bible with this skewed motive will cause you to confuse your identity with that of Jesus’, causing the weight of the world and it’s problems to crush you even harder.
“Like so long ago, we are still simply looking for Jesus.”
Once we attend to making sure we are looking for Jesus as we come to the bible, we will find that He will attend to our needs in ways that only He can.